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Yes, Six Sigma is Still Relevant

March 20, 2023 | Article

By Abbey Pint with contributions by John McDermott

Yes, Six Sigma is Still Relevant

By Abbey Pint with contributions by John McDermott


Business processes seem to be evolving faster than ever. With a surplus of easily-accessible information, new methods are always arising, each attempting to steal the spotlight from the last. However, despite countless newcomers, it’s impossible to ignore one approach that continues to stand the test of time. Almost four decades ago, Six Sigma was developed to help organizations improve quality and profits, and eliminate waste. Since then, this business strategy and methodology have become one of the most well-known approaches for improving organizational processes. However, many people wonder if it’s still relevant after nearly forty years – especially in light of recent advancements made in other areas like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

What is Six Sigma?

The Six Sigma concept was developed by engineer Bill Smith and others at Motorola in 1986 as a way to improve quality and reduce costs. Smith later published his ideas in a detailed book examining the practice and implementation within Motorola. The company was experiencing a crisis of customer dissatisfaction due to poor quality products and services, which resulted in lost revenue, increased warranty costs and customer defections.

While Six Sigma remains a comprehensive and flexible system for achieving, sustaining, and maximizing business success through the prevention of defects, Lean Six Sigma, on the other hand, combines the traditional Six Sigma methodology with a focus on eliminating waste and providing maximum value with the lowest possible amount of investment. The primary difference between Lean and Six Sigma is that Lean is less focused entirely on manufacturing but often shapes all facets of a business.

Modern Relevance

Almost forty years since its creation, Six Sigma is still relevant today because it’s proven:

  • The effectiveness of principles like focusing on the customer and using data to make informed decisions.
  • Companies in all industries use it as an effective way to solve problems. 
  • Using the Six Sigma approach consistently contributes to product quality improvements and increased revenue.
  • The American Society of Quality highlights that professionals with a Six Sigma certification often earn beefy six figure salaries.

Six Sigma can improve your organization.

Six Sigma can be a valuable tool for improving the quality of your products and services, as well as the efficiency of your business processes. Six Sigma can also help you improve customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, profitability and market share. In addition to these benefits, it will also improve your reputation as a high quality business that people want to work with. OGx uses the Six Sigma approach within numerous client projects, and finds value in keeping a certified Six Sigma expert on their team. If you need help or are interested in learning more, please get in touch with OGx!